Oh, what was the Twitter outrage huge!
Matt Damon! Taking away the coveted big budget movie spot that should have been gone to an Asian actor (of course by that we mean an Asian-American actor, and by "we" I mean the Perpetual Outrage People, also known as POP)! In a movie about the most Chinese thing, ever, The Great Wall!
Oh, how dare we even think that a white male trigger-saves poor Asian culture from evil demons, those poor Chinese that have played the cultural victim card, oh so well in the past 25 years (while buying up everything that isn't on a tree at the count of three)!
Now, having actually seen the movie, I can tell the Outrage Brigade to relax.
Matt Damon just might be the most cliched version of a Westerner as seen through the Cultural Racist eyes of Grand China that has ever "graced" a movie screen. From the first moment the basement bargain Bourne and his buddy from Game of Thrones, Oberyn Martell, uh, actor Pedro Pascal are introduced to us, there is no doubt whatsoever that
a) these are culturally inferior men (Damon was sold to an army as a kid, he only ever fought wars to keep himself fed, and in what must be the shortest history of Europe, ever, he tells us that throughout his life he fought for everyone and everything, without ever believing in anything, ending the list of things he fought for with... the Pope. Ka-Ching indeed!)
b) capitalist, greedy swine who came to good, moral, high-cultured China to steal "the black powder", or in other words, get some modern weapon to be rich! Rich, I tell you! Filthy rich! Financially secure! What do you say, Daffy? Was it all that bad to take that wrong turn at Albuquerque?
Meanwhile, the Chinese defenders of the Great Wall (against creatures that move like the zombies in World War Z and look like a Pokemon had an unfortunate affair with something from Jurassic World Park VIII ), they are... perfect. They even come with their own color-coding.
Red are the Archers!
Black are the Foot Soldiers!
Blue are the Spear Carriers! (all women, because, uh, why not? I guess it's "logical" because they bungee-jump into the fray from the Great Wall, phallic-execute some beasts before they do the bouncy-bounce ballet that Chinese Wire-Fu is so famous for)
Or as tied up scruffy scumbags Bourne and Oberyn gasp as they see them fight the beasties, "have you ever seen anything like this?"
It is then, of course, that we are introduced to the obligatory Chinese coward foot soldier who brings shame - SHAME, I SAY! - to the courageous defenders by going WAAH WAAH on the beasties as they storm the wall, allowing our meanwhile freed Western duo to kinda sorta prove their worth by killing a few of those things and thus impressing the Asian Superhero Goebbels brigade of Generals with their barbarian fighting style... and Jason Bourne's apparently direct ancestral line to Orlando Bloom via The Lord of the Rings, you know, where we have all seen that "I can shoot seventeen arrows so fast that in modern day I would grow a goatee and become a star on a WB TV show" in 2002 already.
Needless to say, moral scumbag Matt Damon has an awakening as impossibly cute feisty female warrior Lin Mei tells him that she too has been her entire life in the army, but as opposed to him, she fights for the greater glory of China, yes sir!
Yes indeed! She does it for honor!
And ... quite possibly the fancy blue uniform
Oh, the shame! The shame! To be a Westerner without honor!
The rest of the (very fucking short and not at all epic) movie is a simple "Get the McGuffin, use the McGuffin", colored in that cultural fascism that China is so very good at. You remember the Bejing Olympics, right? Where the same moves done by the Nazis 1936... looked so very cute if you put them all in bright sparkly colors!
There is even some slight romantic tension between the Bourne Barbarian (get it?) and the classy Chinese female warrior, who set out with the Chinese foot soldier coward to save the day (can we call him a Yellow Shirt? Or is that racist?)
But boy, the shame! The shame! To have had his live saved earlier by a white male! THE SHAME! Of course his way of making it up is to suicide bomb himself to give the others one final chance to defeat the evil demonic hordes that want to invade glorious China... can you be a little less subtle, maybe?
And of course, it is not Matt Damon who saves the day, he's a glorified sidekick, it is strong, warrior woman Lin Mei who growls "I trained for this all my life!" before blowing the demonic creatures to hell in a final showdown (after Matt Damon failed several times, oh, yes, he totally was the White Savior in this one, sure, let's rub that one in to the Twitter Outrage crowd, you know, the way they rub one out over everything that makes them angry)
And in the end, Matty Damon learns his lesson, he trades the reward of the superior technology that could have made him rich to buy back his faithless, greedy bastard Oberyn from the Chinese prisons (see, he was a baaaaaaaaad white dude, only he isn't white, he's kinda sorta the total Spanish/Muslim/Something scumbag, yep, we can always go one lower)... and go back to barbaric Europe, even though he totally has a boner for the Asian warrior woman, but hey, we don't mix pure Chinese with inferior cultures, okay?
This is a movie that if the same standards were to apply would be called out to be one of the most racist pieces of shit to have ever been produced, but since it's Chinese, it will be mistaken for the glorification of a maligned culture.
Piss yellow is more like it.